Dana Abbott

Posted by: marmaduke

Dana Abbott - 08/08/07 10:29 AM


Has anyone seen this person perform? Can you tell me anything about it? He's supposed to be visiting my sons Dojo in Feb 2008 and giving a Seminar in sword technique. Have been trying to find additional info on this person.
I have my son signed up for this Seminar. So kind of curious.
Posted by: splice

Re: Dana Abbott - 08/08/07 10:51 AM

Always good to search e-budo and see what comes up:


There are some choice quotes in there... I would likely pass on the seminar myself, but that is because chanbara has little to do with my interests.
Posted by: marmaduke

Re: Dana Abbott - 08/08/07 11:05 AM

Sorry. Have to be registered to see this and its telling me registration is disabled. My sons Dojo also teaches Chanbara along with Iaido. Both are related here.
Posted by: splice

Re: Dana Abbott - 08/08/07 11:18 AM

Sorry about that. Some of the choice quotes I was referring to:


I met him one time. He introduced himself to me as "Master Dana Abbott".


I won't speak to his credits or history. But the gallery of photos with him next to all the "famous" luminaries of martial arts and martial arts movies are really funny. They're badly photoshop'ed (reworked) pics of himself stuck into totally different photos of guys like Steve (Hebi No Dojo) Kaufman, etc. You can even see the digital cut marks.


A gentleman who writes to people asking for grades and actualy 'prints' his own certification. He also has a nasty hobby of forming home page budo associations, calling himself the president and inviting people to join to give himself credibility!

To be honest I don't know about chanbara and he may be great there. But people who call themselves master, grant themselves high ranks and certifications, and photoshops himself into pictures of great martial artists... It just doesn't make me want to go out of my way to meet the man.

But again, that may just be overcompensation for a perceived inadequacy in his practice, and as far as chanbara goes he may be great. I just wouldn't do Iai with the man.
Posted by: Charles Mahan

Re: Dana Abbott - 08/08/07 03:12 PM

Yeah, E-budo is a little mucked up right now while they do some major overhauls to the site. As a consequence only registered members can view the site, and registration is deactivated. Hopefully it will be back up soon.
Posted by: pgsmith

Re: Dana Abbott - 08/09/07 11:52 AM

Here's the way I see it, since you asked for opinions. Although I don't personally care for Dana Abbott, if I remember the conversation correctly Splice is not quite correct in his quotes. The first quote is definitely about Mr. Abbott (I'm the one that made the original statement). The subsequent quotes were actually referring to another fellow that is part of the same chanbara organization to which Mr. Abbott belongs. Bear in mind that I didn't bother to go back through the old e-budo thread and verify this, it's just from my sometimes less than stellar memory.

From what I have seen of Mr. Abbott's cutting and kata, I have been singularly unimpressed with his level of competence. What I've seen is sloppy and uncontrolled, which just shouldn't happen with someone of the stature to which he believes he is entitled. On the other hand, I've had many conversations with one of his senior students, who seems to be a very genuine and thoughtful individual. Therefore, I don't think that any seminar which Mr. Abbott may conduct would actually be detrimental, it's just a case of whether it's worth the price being charged.

As far as his skills in chanbara, I've no idea as it is a totally seperate entity and has no real bearing on Japanese sword arts in my experience. I have both done and watched chanbara and, despite what many people try to insist, it really doesn't have much in common with actual sword arts. Loads of fun actually, but I wasn't very good at it since my training actually worked against me when doing chanbara.
Posted by: splice

Re: Dana Abbott - 08/09/07 12:00 PM

Apologies if so, but I don't quite agree. I am reading the thread again, the other person didn't come into it until a bit later. The third quote could apply to either, it's hard to make exact sense of the message. Definitely the two others seem to refer to Mr. Abbott.

Regardless I am sure that if your son practices chanbara and the seminar is about chanbara, it will be a good time (at least I sure hope so).
Posted by: pgsmith

Re: Dana Abbott - 08/09/07 03:49 PM

Sorry Splice,
I went back and took a look at the e-budo thread and you're correct in that the faked pictures of himself with various martial arts luminaries was definitely Abbott. Your last quote was about Ivica Zdravkovic though. I remember how offended Hyaku was by that fellow's actions at the time.
Posted by: JoshuaMonjin

Re: Dana Abbott - 08/09/07 07:25 PM

I can't speak to his technique never having seen it. But I did get a chance to meet him and found him to be aloof and very much the business/sport oriented martial artist. Also not interested in talking about his past or training in Japan. I also dislike some of his ads about "cutting through the mysteries of swordsmanship." Despite the fact that he didn't seem to have trained in any oldschool (koryu) arts. And for any man or woman to claim that is presumptues in my mind. Here is his companies website samurai sports
Posted by: marmaduke

Re: Dana Abbott - 08/10/07 06:15 AM

Thanks for the input. Now I know what to expect.
Posted by: marmaduke

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/25/08 09:06 AM

Well, I just spent the past 2 days sitting in on my sons class watching Mr. Abbott. Feb 23 and Feb 24.
The 23rd was a Chambara tournament for the young kids in our Dojo. Mr. Abbott took over the tournament which suprized our Sensei.

I'll tell you right now, after watching him for two days, I like the guy. I was expecting him to be arrogant, throw his superiority around and kind of awe everyone. He acted just like a normal confidant instructor. The kids loved him. After warming up for 20 minutes, he started the tournament. (I'll tell you one thing, we usually have parents that are fidgity, waiting for a tournament to start on time. But everyone forgot the time watching him control the kids. He even got the problem kids to do push-ups and no one complained. Tournament went fast and smooth.

After the tournament, there was a first seminar for the adults. Several students from different Dojo's attended. 4pm-8pm for a first day was quite a workout. Everyone was dripping in sweat and tired. Sunday was a bit different, but more of the same. Different people from other Dojo's showed up. 10am-4pm. People that got tired, couldn't understand instructions or goofed off in general were "razzed" by Mr. abbott. Again, his superiority was not an issue. He was just a plain instructor.

Oh and yes, Chambara was part of the main excersizes. Like it or not, we have schools in the area that teach it. Including my sons school. And as Mr. Abbott puts it, a padded sword is easier to manuever than a person dressed in armor. As a parent, this makes it safe for little kids to start off right away learning the sword. And the kids are aften yelled at to treat it as a real sword.

Right now, there is a 2nd tournament scheduled for tonight, a seminar Tuesday morning and 2 final seminars Wednesday.
As far as I'm concerned, Mr. Abbott is a professional and I got my moneys worth from these seminars. And my son is enjoying this too.
Posted by: harlan

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/25/08 09:10 AM

Thanks for stopping in with an update. Since you and your son seem happy with the school and instruction, it would appear to be money well spent.
Posted by: fatguy

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/25/08 11:34 PM

Its interesting, I find a website saying he received kyoshi in a style called Goshindo, also stating he spent 14 years at the ryu's hombu in yokohama (http://www.samuraisports.com/about/danaabbott.html)

but his book, cutting through the mystery, implies that he received kyoshi in toyama ryu...

I have never trained with him or attended a seminar either way so I cannot comment on his actual ability or credibility. But my dojo does do chanbara for fun and his "actionflex" come with an outstanding warranty

but like pjsmith said, I dont see chanbara as having any real japanese swordsmanship context.. it is fun though..
Posted by: Charles Mahan

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/26/08 10:01 AM

A kyoshi in Toyama Ryu? Awarded by who?
Posted by: JAMJTX

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/26/08 10:14 AM

I actually don't think he ever said.
Supposedly, Toyama Ryu was his original art and perhaps what "Goshindo" is based on. I never saw the Goshindo.
He does have a video series that is quite obviously based on Toyama Ryu. Althuogh it is not the Toyama Ryu that we do.
All any offical bios I read just say "trained in Japan", "trained in Yokohama" or phrases like "certified in Japan".
Posted by: fatguy

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/26/08 01:55 PM

Ya he never actually says that, I simply feel that he implies it in his book cover:
Dana Abbot

plus, the book is about almost entirely about Toyama iai-batto do
Posted by: Charles Mahan

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/26/08 02:09 PM

I agree. That cover is terribly misleading.
Posted by: JAMJTX

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/27/08 01:34 AM

The cover does say "Kyoshi Dana Abbott"
It also says "Includes" Toyama Ryu. Not that it is a Toyama Ryu book.
Unless stated somewhere in the bio that his Kyoshi title was awarded in another art - like Karate - then the only inference can be that it was awarded in Toyama Ryu.

On another note: There is some usefulness in the video series for those with very little to no experience. I would believe he had some Toyama Ryu training perhaps even beyond Shodan-Nidan.
Posted by: A.J. Bryant

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/27/08 06:06 AM


A kyoshi in Toyama Ryu? Awarded by who?

From http://www.samuraisports.com/chanbara/articles/QA.html


Shihan Abbott holds black belt rankings in: Japanese long sword 7th dan, Japanese short sword 5th dan, Japanese spear 5th dan, Nito-Ryu 5th dan, Japanese knife 4th dan, Toho-Ryu Iaido 5th dan, Toyama-Ryu Iaido 5th dan, Tameshigiri 3rd dan and Kendo 3rd dan.

It doesn't appear that Dana Abbott has 7th-dan Kyoshi in Toyama-ryu, but rather Chanbara. His instructor is/was Tetsundo Tanabe, the founder of Goshindo/Chanbara but Mr. Abbott doesn't ever really mention his teacher, which is interesting for several reasons. Mr. Abbott is listed as the international director on Mr. Tanabe's website however.

Tetsundo Tanabe was also one of Hataya Mitsuo sensei's instructors and I believe Hataya sensei is ranked in Goshindo/Chanbara (7th-dan in kodachi), as are a few of his Toyama-ryu students in the US. I don't think there's any affiliation with Dana Abbott however.

Anyone with first hand knowledge can feel free to correct anything I might have wrong though...
Posted by: SangKim

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/27/08 10:21 AM

I've seen his video, I've seen students at Tai Kai's in the shodan and under division who has better technique than what was displayed on the video.

Hataya sensei's Toyama Ryu teacher was Nakamura sensei, while goshindo/chanbara was Mr. Tanabe. And you're correct, we have no affiliation with Dana Abbott. Hope that clears some things up

Sang Kim
Posted by: cxt

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 09:46 AM


I don't know much about the art Dana Abbott trains in---but I have to say that the quote you showed really confuses me.

Maybe such things just don't translate well but a couple f things jump out.

1-The guy has a 3td degree ranking in "TEST CUTTING????" maybe its common practice with the group he is with---but to many people this reads like having a 3td dan in say Board Breaking......just sounds srange.

-"4th Dan in japanese knife"--again, sounds really weird, "japanese knife is a a tanto (or some other things) so using english for the proper term seems odd--the more so when he uses "Temashigiri" elsewhere.

Don't know of anyone that offers a stand alone dan ranking in "japanese knife"--chalk it up to ignorance on my part, but the only ones I'm aware of INCLUDE specfic training as part of the overall cirruculem......and they don't use the kyu/dan system either.

-"Japanese spear"--again only a handful of ryu that teach the spear---but it does not say which one he learned--again the only ones I know about do not seem to use the kyu/dan system--again, could just me being less than imformed.

Don't know anything about chanbara except the name.....but this just sounds odd to me.

In reading the article---I have to admit that NOBODY ever checked to see if I was wearing underwear under my hakama. Why someone would do such a thing and why it should be seen as a mark of how strict a class was makes little sense to me.

I know the article in question is a puff piece but from a marketing POV I sure would have left out:

-"I had respect and admeration from all around me"

-Japanese experts don't "reek" from anything---even when its strength and power--"reek" is word with unpleasent conitation, probably more so for a Japanese

-"I reeked havoc in their circles"--I'm sure he was very good, but that is a little over the top.

-Travelling all over the world to discover the answer to "what is the sound of one hand clapping."
Probably sounds all "zen" to people--but just weird to me.
And out of all the famous and infamous koan--why pick that one???
It would have read better if it didn't come across as such a blatent "im so cool and zen" kinda thing.

-Here is real dooze:

"Q Wasn't it difficult to enter the dojo's around the world?

"Yes, its very difficult. That is why I learned a game in San Franciso called shuttlecock. In the United States you might have played similer game called hackysack........most serious Asain martial artists play the game religiously."

A-"San Francisco is IN the "United States" so it make NO sense at all to say that you learned in in San Francisco and in the United States they have a similer game.

It would be like saying "I learned to to play Go in Tokyo, and and in Japan they play a game called Go."

B-So playing hackysack is not the sign of a "serious" martial artist???
I guess all those masters/experts born PRIOR ot the hackysack just were not really "serious" martial artists......sheesh.

"Sorry Jack I know you have bee a good deshi for more than 15 years, your powerful swordsmen, nealry unbeatable fighter--but your just not very good with the hackysack."


"the bamboo shinai ....can easily break bones"--depends--hand bones??? or arm bones""
And "easily???" not so sure---horrible brusiing and even cut the skin--sure, "easily break bones" might be a bit over the top.

-Claiming to "rub shoulders" with "Japanese Royals"---they might attend functions---but its highly doubtful that they were "rubbing shoulders" with Dana Abbott.
That termn imples a level of personl friendshio that the prior statement in the same paragrah does not.

-The claim that his method is able to do "in hours" what "traditional ploishing techniues took months to perfect"

In the first place nobody "perfects" ANYTHING in a few "months."

In the second--how does he know this?? Does he have studies? or is this merely another claim?

Just reads as odd to me.

Posted by: fatguy

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 10:21 AM


I only disagree with you on the term "reek". And thats just because I'm not 100% on how it can be used. He perhaps could have used a better word to describe his thoughts (in this case he might have wanted something like, "Their strength, power, and charisma pervaded the room") but I think thats neither here nor there because I got the gist of what he was saying anyway.

As for his zen buddhist thing, Im pretty sure thats not a big mystery to most... the entire concept is to accept the fact that one hand doest clap on its own, and to ponder such things is absurd... so I don't know what hes talking about.

Other than those two things, I am thinking the same way as cxt. To me those separate dan rankings is strange.
Posted by: A.J. Bryant

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 10:28 AM


I don’t know, nor have I ever met Mr. Abbott, and don’t have nice things to say about his technique or marketing... “Executive Samurai” classes are really not traditional budo in my book...

Simply put, the question was asked about his Toyama-ryu rank, and, using Google, I found and included the link to the page that had his ranks listed. As to the validity of these ranks, I have no comment, nor do I particuarly care.

As to Chanbara and the separation of ranks, I know nothing about the art, so I couldn’t help you there either. Maybe someone else can answer.
Posted by: cxt

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 10:32 AM


I don't know either--I know what he was trying to do--I just would have used a different term--perhpas one less related to stinkyness.

Not just nit-picking either, if it were the only slip--ok fine.
But such hyperbole seems to be the norm rather than the exception.
Posted by: cxt

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 10:35 AM


Maybe someone that knows more about chambara could help?????

Without it, I'm stuck comparing what is in the article to what I know--and it reads weird to me.

Could be wrong--have been before---will be again---but some of this simply makes little sense....the whole "hackysack" thing for example.

Without better answers and information---I would not traing with a guy like that in the article and I would not send my kid to train with him either.

Which is probably fair--as I doubt he would view me worthy to train with either.
Posted by: marmaduke

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 01:13 PM

Mr. Abbott finished his Seminars last night. Mabe I should have printed out this thread and shown it to him and asked him to fill in the blanks. Somehow, that didn't matter to me. My sons Sensei and his Sensei(8thDan Kajukenbo)Andrew Torok, are aquanted with Mr. Abbott. Neither one of them has a problem with him.
I don't understand why someones lineage has to be questioned everytime a name is brought up. You want names,
Masayuki Shimbakuro, 2006 weapons Instructor of the year according to Black Belt Magazine.
John Hackleman, 10th Degree Black Belt in Hawaiian Kempo.

I don't go out of my way to question how these people made it to their status. Nor do I care. All I care about is that Mr. Abbott had 8 seminars in 5 days. My son was able to attend all of them. All of them overran the time by at least 2 hrs. My son is tired, bruised, aching and smells of Tiger Balm. But he had a great time and would sign up again in a second.
I was expecting some pompus a** at first to teach and always throw his rank in everyones face. Nope. Other than a brief intro as to who he is and a little history, the seminars started. The amount of people showing up for each seminar varied, anywhere from 3 to 12. He taught them all. Tuesdays morning seminar surprized me the most. 3 people including my son. Started at 10am. Supposed to last 'til 2pm. At 2:30 one person left, at 3 another person had to leave. Mr. Abbott trained my son for another hour. No problems. no comments about waisting his time on one kid.

One point. My son has been taking Iaido for a year and a half. My. Abbott covered the same things his Sensei discussed. My sons Sensei is more traditional and requires a small ceremony for bowing to the sword before class. Mr. Abbott discussed this but mentioned that its just a ceremony and not really practical.

I'm not going to question everything he says or does. 12 other black belts including instructors from various schools showed up for his seminars. Nobody had a problem with Mr. Abbott.

I'm just the father to a 16yr old black belt. I enjoyed being able to sit in on these seminars. I enjoyed listening to Mr. Abbott's enthusiasm and being able to keep 12 black belts enthralled, getting them tired and wanting more.

Some people don't like his credentials. Some people don't know what chambara is and blow it off. To each his own. My son has grown up on chambara from 2 different Dojos. Its very prominent at the yearly Northcoast Karate Championships in Ohio. Live in the present and enjoy what you have. I don't question everything. I'd like to live to a ripe old age. No harm was done. From my viewpoint. Mr. Abbott teaching was close to my sons Iaido instructors. I have no reason to doubt him. And my sons Iaido instructor, who is in his 70's, also attended the seminars.
Posted by: cxt

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 01:46 PM


And thus we come to the crux of the matter "your" concerns "did my kid enjoy himself?" and "my" concerns--"does this make sense in terms of what I know about the martial arts" are simply very different.

Its the difference between a "week ender" and serious practioners---NOTHING wrong with being a "week ender" BTW--its just the things which are "serious issues" to one are often "who cares about that?" to another.
You can't understand mine/our attitude and we can't for the life of us understand why stuff like this does not matter to you.

I care very little what "Black Belt" magazine has to say BTW---and being impressed with people of the caliber of Shimabakuro has nothing to do with the awards they give them either.

'I don't go out my way to question their status"

Of course you don't---that is not anything at all your concerend with--which is mainly that your son had a good time.

BTW I'm not questioning his "status" I'm questioning his CLAIMS and things he said during an interview---VASTLY different things.

"I don't question everything he does"

But do you question anything he does?
Or is it enough for you that he looked the part, was friendly and your kid enjoyed himself?
Nothing wrong with that BTW---its just other people have other issues.

(personally I'm a bit put out that he chose a seminar in which people PAID to attend--in the presence of a "70 year old instructer" you child primary teacher, he chose to dismiss a ritual which said insturcter seems to like as not being "practical."
He could have simply said "hey, just not something I do"--instead according to you--he offered a value judegement.
This was not a tech matter involoving safety--it was simply a difference in approach.
Presuming that the "70 year old instructer" had paid to attend the seminar--its not good business practice either)

As I said prior, I know nothing about chambara---but the fact that its "prominent" means little to me......I don't go for how popular something might be....popular is not my concern.
You have to view it the context of JSA where even the most "prominent" schools have a really small membership.

I don't know Dana Abbott--wouldn't know him if he walked into my office--my only "problems" as you put it are things HE put out in the public sphere--things HE said and things HE published.

Frankly I don't see the problem in critically examining material published for marketing purposes.
They chose to publish it--I chose to read and form an opinion--which was the SPECIFIC INTENT of the marketing BTW.
Not my fault that knowing a bit about the martial arts that I formed a different opinion than was hoped for.

Posted by: pgsmith

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 03:30 PM

I thought that was very well put CXT, and represented the general thoughts of most serious JSA practitioners. I agree in that the most important thing is was it safe, and did the participant enjoy it. Judging by what marmaduke said, it fit both of those criteria and so was a good event.

However, that doesn't mean that the JSA practitioners on this board, or all the other boards for that matter, are going to simply forget all of the bogus BS that Mr. Abbott has displayed for public consumption. I can, however, clear up a couple of questions that people had. Mr. Abbott is listed as having dan ranking in various weapons because this is how the Sports Chanbara Association classifies players (their own words). You get ranks in each individual weapon, and the rankings are only used to determine where you compete at tournaments. I know someone that was awarded a first dan in kodachi in one week. Never had done sports chanbara before, and learned it while doing other things, including training and competing in his actual Japanese sword art while in Japan. Lots of information about chanbara can be had at their web site for anyone that's interested. http://www.internationalsportschanbara.net

As for where he got his Toyama ryu ranking, I've no clue as what I've seen of him performing on-line, he doesn't seem to be anywhere near as advanced as the rank he claims. I've never before heard of Toho ryu iaido, or of anyone being able to get a dan ranking in "tameshigiri".
Posted by: cxt

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 03:36 PM


Thank you for the inforamtion and the link--was really wondering about that--I'll spend some time with the link when I get a chance.

Work is getting in the way of my playtime so to speak.
Posted by: Charles Mahan

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 04:57 PM

You know my only concern for a student of Mr. Abbot is what's might to happen the day that student decides he is serious about training after all and starts to put more value in genuine historically accurate training. If I had found out 2 or 3 years into the program I'm in that my instructor was mostly boasting obviously questionable, if not outright fraudulent, claims I would be so disgusted that it would probably ruin whatever interest I had in JSAs altogether. I'd quit and never look back, and probably be quite bitter about the whole thing.

The fact that other "black belts" in attendance had no problem with Mr Abbot, doesn't say much for their knowledge of the JSA world. Seriously Marmaduke, do some reading and asking around on other forums. Don't take our word for it by any means.

I'll end this post with one final observation. Some of the folks pushing the kookiest and most fradulent schemes imaginable, are also usually some of the nicest folks you'll ever meet. I know I've met 3 or 4 different instructors peddling JSA inspired schemes that were questionable at the very best, and every one of them were just super nice guys. Very personable. I think they all actually believed in what they were doing and teaching. They weren't really evil or anything, just enthusiastic and maybe a little morally flexible when it came to self promotion. "Niceness" is not the best judge of someone's character or teaching competence. Just some food for thought.

And again if entertainment is the goal of training, it sounds like your son is getting what he's after. Probably best they he stays in the environment he is in. Traditional JSAs have a very high hard work and frustration to entertainment ratio.
Posted by: pgsmith

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 05:17 PM


Morally flexible


Traditional JSAs have a very high hard work and frustration to entertainment ratio.

Very cool Charles! Two keeper quotes in one post!
Posted by: JAMJTX

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/28/08 11:33 PM

Just a note:
These "other black belts" were likely karate black belts, not "sword" black belts. So as long as someone looked decent and could cut, they would be ok with these guys. especially if they were "mcdojo blackbelts".

I know a great many karate teachers who pick up a sword, stand in a karate stance and swing the sword like it's a baseball bat. And other karate teachers think they're great. Real "sword people" think they're idiots.

I don't think Dana Abbott is as bad as these guys. There is useful information on the videos and he has some skills.
What you should do next is perhaps find a "real" Toyama Ryu school and perhaps watch a class or demo. I guarantee you it will look very similar. But there will be something in the technique and the power of the cutting that you may not visually identify, but you will just sit there and say WOW.

There is a certain amount of hype in the selling of all books and videos. So I don't really care so much about the Kyoshi title and other things on the cover. I wouldn't even tell someone that the videos are a waste of money.

For a beginner, they may very well get you through the first year of training if you don't have access to a higher level teacher (and providing you don't cut your fingers off).

But for someone able to train with not only a Toyama Ryu instructor (or any style if Toyama Ryu is not available) these are probably not even going to be good reference material.
Posted by: fatguy

Re: Dana Abbott - 02/29/08 03:03 PM

CXT and Charles were able to say what I was thinking better than I could (good job ) so I dont have much to add to this thread.

All I have to say is that I have been to chanbara seminars from Dana Abbot and loved every minute.. but to me chanbara and toyama ryu are two very different things.. and if I'm doing serious training, especially from someone who is teaching a tameshigiri lesson, I'm absolutly gonna make sure they have proper lineage/training and know what they are doing.
Posted by: RickyArias

Re: Dana Abbott - 01/18/09 02:41 AM


Goshindo was founded in 1969 by tanabe sensei who is a hanshi 9th dan in toyama ryu as well as a 6th dan in kendo, 7th dan in Jukendo and 6th dan in Tankendo ( Japanese Bayonet fighting ) Hataya started under Tanabe sensei in the early 1970's not only learning toyama, but Chanbara as well.... Hataya and Tanabe are still on good terms and Hataya has even done chanbara esque sparring with Many high ranked toyama sensei including Tony Alvarez Sensei who is vice prez of the Batto Fed in the US. It is not the exact same, but it is not hard to tell that it is a good 80% pure chanbara..

Abbott Sensei: Started in Kendo in the 80's in the Nihon Taiiku Daigaku getting his shodan. Not to many years later he started under tanabe sensei. By the time he came back to the US in 1998 he had been under tanabe for the better part of 10 years.

His ranks are: Katana 7th Dan, Wakizashi 5th Dan, Tanto 4th Dan, Yari 5th Dan, Nito Ryu 5th Dan and Tameshigiri 3rd Dan. His rank in Toyama is 5th Dan and Kendo 3rd Dan. The Weapon ranks are given in Chanbara showing a high level of combative skill in each. NOTE: nito ryu in chanbara is like is Kendo counter part specificly 2 sword sparring not specificly the Musashi ryu and kata.

Chanbara: Given that their are 3 styles of Chanbara ( One that uses any grip, one that you can start a cut with propper grip go to one hand mid cut and then end with 2 hand, and the 3rd more used with My sensei that is basicly Kendo with Chanbara Gear ) In the 3rd style propper sword grip is always used and because chanbara swords bend they give the illusion of a cut when they slide down the opponent.... Rather than just a "wack" you get with kendo gear when the sword hits armor.... It is because of this that I think chanbara actually helps in cutting and use of basic happo giri in sparring ( as long as we are talking about the 3rd style ). The 3rd style came more into view as a balance of chanbara and kendo. In kendo their are no smiles and laughing and things are serious! Chanbara is allot of fun and is less formal by nature.... The 3rd style of Chanbara is more for those students who lean more with traditional view of sword, while still being in a Chanbara format .

For those of you who are confused by the 3 style referance goshindo has 3 areas of study 1. The basic toyama system ( 8 Kata, Happogiri, Noto Batto ex. ) 2. Chanbara and 3. Tameshigiri. Yes tameshigiri is a seprate study and is given a seperate rank within goshindo just as Chanbara has different ranks within it for differen weapons ( Katana, Waki, Naginata, Yari, Tanto ex. ) Chanbara can be studied on its own as can just toyama, but not tameshigiri. Their is an art to knowing how to test a sword and swordsmen, but cant be taught without knowing 1 of the other 2. Since the basics all overlap in some point when you get down to them it would be fair to say that it would not be a huge stretch for just a 3rd style chanbara swordsmen to cut effective tameshigiri with normal training and working at it...

But most of the time people just do Chanbara or they do the whole package of the 3 areas wich I refer to as the "Triangle" of Goshindo study. I guess come to think of it you could call it a "Pyramid" because of all the vast area of study that can be had in Chanbara and Cutting......
Posted by: RickyArias

Re: Dana Abbott - 01/18/09 03:24 AM

Also I must add a few things. Every person has a different eye for technique. Many of the Sensei here like Sensei Smith and Kim have different views and goals as shihan abbott does... He found what he wanted from Goshindo and Chanbara under Tanabe as you guys did with your sensei. In terms of Combative weapons I would call him a Master without a second thought.... As far as kata the only difference I see is timing and personal points of view that have more to do with brantch politics than anything...

Sensei smith the man you are thinking of in terms of getting a kodachi 1st dan in chanbara is I believe Animo. If I am not mistaken has been in toyama for over 10 years holds a Yondan and had a number of medals from many tai kai. He is a man of great skill... It is not odd in any degree that A man of such skill and experience was given this rank.... You make it sound as if some joe blow could spend a week and get a shodan and that is NOT true by any shape or form.

Competition is a Big part of Batto fed rankings as is Tai kai. I have heard of people getting higher ranks for performing in tai kai. And even that aside there is still the fact that medals for winning events is VERY common as is awards to document the win... I would find it hard to belive that no one in Batto fed has ever referanced tai kai medals when talking about skill and ability...

I think we should all realize the common bond of sword work and realize that depending on how somone spins somthing even the Batto fed can look funny to Koryu and other Ryu.
Posted by: pgsmith

Re: Dana Abbott - 01/19/09 03:58 PM

Not entirely sure what your point was with those two posts Ricky, but I've got a couple of comments on them ... First, this thread is quite old. Second, please don't call me sensei.

I would find it hard to belive that no one in Batto fed has ever referanced tai kai medals when talking about skill and ability...

I wouldn't. I just moved and, while I was packing, realized that I've got 25 or 30 medals from various tai kai, Batto Fed and otherwise. I've no idea how many of what kind or from where, so I would find it impossible to "reference" tai kai medals for anything. Tai Kai are about testing your own abilities and hanging out with old friends, not about winning things to put on a resume.

Any way you want to spin it, chanbara was meant to give kids a fun and safe way to have sword fights. Mr. Tanabe says almost these very words when describing why and where he invented it.
Posted by: RickyArias

Re: Dana Abbott - 01/20/09 01:28 AM


I call you sensei because you are a man of higher rank than I as well as experience in sword arts. I respect the views of you and Sensei Kim because you guys have a clue and have met dana. If you guys dont like him cool, but it makes many forum posters comment on things they do not know or understand becayse they do not have the experience you guys do....

I constantly hear things from people when I run a weekly training group. A few other JSA students from other dojos come in and referance goshindo and chanbara from posts like these as well as many on other forums. Again fallowing what you guys say rather than finding out on their own. I did not know about such postings, but found them fast. I aim to correct the remarks of people who do not have the experience to make comments as you do.

As far as tai kai. I agree it is a good way to get people together, but there are allot of medals and prizes. If it was all about testing yourself and having fun their would be no medals no first or 3rd place and no Yusho of the tai kai. And I have heard of people getting higher ranks for good tai kai performance. As for Why goshindo and chanbra being inventd you are not quite right...

"I have dreamt of a venue where swordsmen and other martial artists from East and West could compete safely, fairly, free from injury, cumbersome rules and overprotective gear. This easily adopted concept could be applied universally in gyms, martial art schools and sports centers throughout the world.

Up to now, martial artists and swordsmen all over the globe never had the opportunity, nor were they able, to match their special skills and techniques in a single competition.

Envision a learning center attended by a mixture of combatants embracing European, Middle Eastern, Western, Asian and African martial art styles. Visualize a European epee matched against a Middle Eastern saber both capable of astounding one-handed manipulations. Imagine the Cora fencers of Asia, who are noted for their lightning-quick thrusts, fending off an African Masai tribesman's lance or evading a stick fighter from the Philippines.

Add to this sublime menu of combatants the traditional Japanese samurai versed in swords, spears and staves and you will discover “Heaven on earth in one arena."

-Tanabe Sensei

Tanabe sensei's goal is to bring people together for a common bond. No matter what or where they train they can all have a good game of physical chess. If you and other sensei would be more respecting of different ryu and focus more on what is the same rather than what is different there would be allot more events to meet old friends and make new ones...

It just seems like with comments new or old you like to draw a line and say " hey I am not with that guy ". I will climb off my soapbox now... I just ask that people stop public bashing of Goshindo and Shihan Abbott.
Posted by: hedkikr

Re: Dana Abbott - 01/20/12 11:11 PM

I hope that reviving this thread won't be viewed as beating a dead horse, but I'm seriously considering taking-up Batto-jutsu next month. I'll be taking an intro Batto seminar @ Fumio Demura's tournament & wanted to see what was in the forum re: Batto.

Re: Dana Abbot... saw him @ Fumio Demura's tournament a few years ago soon after he introduced the soft swords. The "war" that was demonstrated was called Chanbara. That was weird to me (calling a MA system Chanbara) because as a kid in Japan, I watched lots of Chanbara movies. You see, Chanbara was a slang term for "sword fighting" or samurai movies.

Anyway, the foam swords have nowhere the feel (weight & balance) of a katana, bokken or shinai (I trained in iaido for about a year). It appeared that Chanbara was nothing more than a bunch of kids playing at sword-fighting like me & my brother used to do w/ wrapping paper tubes - people swinging wildly @ one another, getting whacked and laying down pretending to be dead.

Yeah, great fun, but so far from real MA I nearly gagged. I don't know why Demura Sensei allowed it - maybe just for the fun of it. But his Batto is legitimate. BTW, next time I see Shimabukuro Sensei, I'll ask him about Abbot.

Anyway, CXT made some great points. Nothing wrong w/ having fun, but don't try to get me to believe that a legitimate MA is being taught. It's like being the best driver on Mario Cart & believing that you could seriously compete in the Monaco Grand Prix.

Posted by: pgsmith

Re: Dana Abbott - 04/25/12 07:03 PM

So Ed, did you take up batto jutsu? If so, you may be interested in the large tournament that is out in your neck of the woods Labor Day weekend.
West Coast Tai Kai
I am planning on going to this one.